RCI Newb.Please answer some (lots) silly questions!

#1
Long Island
230 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
My friends and I are considering a cruise on the Oasis next year. While I am totally intrigued by the ship, and drool over the commercials, I do have a few questions/concerns.

My biggest fear is feeling detached from the ocean. We will have an Ocean View balcony (cause I'm high maintenance like that haha) but (in my defense) I actually use it. One of my favorite things about being on a cruise is the smell & sounds of the ocean/salt water. I'll sit out on my balcony for hours at night. I totally could sleep out there! We're not sit at the pool kind of people. We were on the NCL Breakaway last year and one of our favorite spots was sitting out on the Waterfront with a drink just watching the water. I know the Oasis does not have anything like the Waterfront, all the neighborhoods are "inside". Besides a cabin balcony, is there any place to go to sit with a drink with a water view? Am I silly worrying about feeling "detached" from the ocean?

My next question would be about cabins. I want an ocean view balcony, preferably one with a view down to the water. (not of life boats). Does anyone have any cabin suggestions? There seem to be so many categories that I'm getting confused. I haven't been able to find anything with cabin categories. I've only been on 2 cruises and have gone with mid-ship balcony cabins. But it seems I may need something a little more aft for what I want. How is the movement back there? My friend does have issues with sea sickness but uses the patch and that seems to work well for her.

We'll be 3 people in a cabin. Does RCI ever run specials with extra/3rd person free, or anything like that? Also, what do the drink packages run on Oasis class ships, and do all 3 or us have to purchase it?

And finally... (thanks for sticking with me this long) My last question is about dining. I've only ever been on NCL so am not familiar with the scheduled dining times. I do know RCI offers My Time Dining, which I think is similar to NCL Freestyle. What are your thoughts on the dining (either way) and would we be able to get a table for just the 3 of us?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. It is all greatly appreciated, along with any Oasis or RCI tips and tidbits of info! Thank you, thank you!!
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#2
No VA
15,729 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by djny1077
We'll be 3 people in a cabin. Does RCI ever run specials with extra/3rd person free, or anything like that? Also, what do the drink packages run on Oasis class ships, and do all 3 or us have to purchase it?

And finally... (thanks for sticking with me this long) My last question is about dining. I've only ever been on NCL so am not familiar with the scheduled dining times. I do know RCI offers My Time Dining, which I think is similar to NCL Freestyle. What are your thoughts on the dining (either way) and would we be able to get a table for just the 3 of us?
Specials vary, but I have not seen many for the third person other than kids. While the special may say kids sail free, you have to look at the overall price since the fare for the first two might be raised to compensate for the third. Drink package prices vary, especially with special pre cruise - not all three have to buy it. Figure anywhere from $40 to 65 per day.

If you liked Freestyle go for MTD, but you'll probably want to make some reservations, if you want a popular time for dinner (around 7PM).

Having said all that, there are better ships to enjoy and have sea views - like Radiance class, maybe Brilliance out of Tampa or Serenade from PE.
#3
Wallkill, NY
186 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by djny1077
My friends and I are considering a cruise on the Oasis next year. While I am totally intrigued by the ship, and drool over the commercials, I do have a few questions/concerns.

My biggest fear is feeling detached from the ocean. We will have an Ocean View balcony (cause I'm high maintenance like that haha) but (in my defense) I actually use it. One of my favorite things about being on a cruise is the smell & sounds of the ocean/salt water. I'll sit out on my balcony for hours at night. I totally could sleep out there! We're not sit at the pool kind of people. We were on the NCL Breakaway last year and one of our favorite spots was sitting out on the Waterfront with a drink just watching the water. I know the Oasis does not have anything like the Waterfront, all the neighborhoods are "inside". Besides a cabin balcony, is there any place to go to sit with a drink with a water view? Am I silly worrying about feeling "detached" from the ocean?

My next question would be about cabins. I want an ocean view balcony, preferably one with a view down to the water. (not of life boats). Does anyone have any cabin suggestions? There seem to be so many categories that I'm getting confused. I haven't been able to find anything with cabin categories. I've only been on 2 cruises and have gone with mid-ship balcony cabins. But it seems I may need something a little more aft for what I want. How is the movement back there? My friend does have issues with sea sickness but uses the patch and that seems to work well for her.

We'll be 3 people in a cabin. Does RCI ever run specials with extra/3rd person free, or anything like that? Also, what do the drink packages run on Oasis class ships, and do all 3 or us have to purchase it?

And finally... (thanks for sticking with me this long) My last question is about dining. I've only ever been on NCL so am not familiar with the scheduled dining times. I do know RCI offers My Time Dining, which I think is similar to NCL Freestyle. What are your thoughts on the dining (either way) and would we be able to get a table for just the 3 of us?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. It is all greatly appreciated, along with any Oasis or RCI tips and tidbits of info! Thank you, thank you!!

I can only speak about the cabin for 3...If your considering 3 in a cabin, book NOW! Earlier the better and don't look to save any money doing it, it might be cheaper to get connecting cabins and have 4 people!
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#4
Denver
2,556 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Never felt detached on Freedom, I'll let you know about Oasis.

I've already found a few less known places that seem they will be great for what you are looking for, a "secret" forward observation deck and an aft section with a bunch of loungers. And the solarium looks like it's very open to the ocean.

I don't think any cabin balconies look down on the lifeboats, they're kind of tucked in. And certainly if you're high up it won't be a factor.
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#5
Puerto Rico
148 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Refer to attachment for Oceanview balcony cabins description
Untitled.pdf
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Nexxus, Puerto Rico

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#6
Long Island
230 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Thanks everyone for the info!

nexxuspr - That pdf is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!!!

boontj - Thanks for the heads up! We like to book early, but weren't sure if the 30% off was just a gimmick to get people to book early or if it was, in fact, actually 30% off.

Biker19 - That's great that we all don't have to purchase the drink package! And thank you for the pricing info.

We are 3 people from 3 different time zones, so eating at off hours is not a big deal for us. That's why freestyle worked well for us. If we had a set dining time, how does it work if we decided not go to the MDR for dinner? What restaurants are included and what are specialty? Are they a la carte or cover?

DrD - Please let me know what you think of the Oasis! From the images I've seen it does look like the life boats stick out, but there is a section where there are no boats. Thats where I want a room lol

From what I've seen, the jogging track might have a few spots we can sit and enjoy the view. Does anyone know how far forward it goes? I love to go to a low deck, as far forward as possible, and watch the ship plow through the water. Also, by the rock climbing walls, are any of those aft balconies public or are they are private?

Sorry for all the questions. Thank you all in advance!
#7
Palm Springs, Calif
42,938 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I would suggest for 3 in a cabin to go with a JS on the 8 th Deck. We will be on her next April 2018 ( 15 & 22nd ) and this will be our first time so checking with friends who have sailed on her. We do have early dining with our family. I agree with book early to get your cabin & location of choice.
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#8
Florida
1,456 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
When I sailed the Oasis, we were 3 in an ocean view balcony on deck 6, cabin 6678. This, and the few cabins in front of it, are where the opening is without any lifeboats below to block the downward view.

The cabin was nice in that it featured both a sofa bed and a Pullman over it which we used instead, so we were able to leave the sofa bed closed and not block access to the balcony.

I loved the location too! Here is part of a post from my review in my signature:

Originally posted by FloridaPalms

I had chosen a deck 6 oceanview balcony cabin because I wanted to be nearer the water. It was very near the aft elevator lobby. Boardwalk was just to the aft and the lobby overlooked the Royal Promenade one deck down. I loved this location! Got to see/do many unplanned things simply because we were in the right place at the right time!

If I had to get to the forward part of the ship (grandson’s Adventure Ocean was on deck 14 forward), I would grab an elevator to Central Park deck 8 if one was coming or just go down the stairs to the Royal Promenade to cut through to the forward elevators.

Cabin 6678 can actually hold 4 (or maybe 5) but was great for the 3 of us because we could leave the sofa bed closed at night, giving us more room and making it easy to get to the balcony where I enjoyed a glass of wine in peaceful solitude before retreating for the night.




(Pullman bed made up with head at wrong end first night)


While not a big deal on higher decks, it also was above the opening in the lifeboats so I could see straight down and watch the Kelvin wake patterns once we were underway.



~ Judy
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Brilliance of the Seas 1/29/18 (First time in a Studio) BRILLIANCE solo REVIEW with pictures
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#9
No VA
15,729 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by djny1077
Biker19 - That's great that we all don't have to purchase the drink package! And thank you for the pricing info.

We are 3 people from 3 different time zones, so eating at off hours is not a big deal for us. That's why freestyle worked well for us. If we had a set dining time, how does it work if we decided not go to the MDR for dinner? What restaurants are included and what are specialty? Are they a la carte or cover?!
With traditional dining, nothing happens if you don't show up - that's fairly normal, many folks use alternatives while having traditional. MDR is the only one included, there's lengthy list of specialty all of which are cover price except Izumi and Johnny Rockets which are a la carte,
#10
Chicago, IL
738 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I don't feel any less connected to the ocean on the Oasis class then any other ship I've been on but I've really only sailed on larger ships (always hear the Radiance class has more/better views) but like you, we enjoy staring out on our balcony watching the ocean go by. The running track does have a few chairs at the very aft of the ship (or is it forward....I literally can't remember now lol!)I do know that it curves around one end of the ship and then cuts through with access to the gym up a set of stairs on the other end of the "loop". It's definitely quiet down there and the views are great because you're closer to the water. Other wise the pool deck has great views (obviously lol) and we liked sitting by the aquatheater when shows weren't going on. There's a bar nearby and then there is shuffle board and some chairs and the way back behind the "theater" itself. At least they were there on the Oasis in 2010...we never checked on the Allure last year. There you can get great aft views-I love watching the wake from the back.

Almost any category of Ocean View balconies would give you an unobstructed view. We personally prefer being close to the stairs (those hallways can feel like a VERY long walk on such a big ship) and generally like decks 6-8 more for being close to the promenade deck. Our most recent trip was on the Allure and we had a deck 14 balcony right by the aft elevators. It was fine and it was nice to be close to the pool deck, but if I had an option I would prefer a little lower to be closer to the activities at night. Those martinis catch up to me at night, so it's nice to not have to stumble too far

We did MTD w/ 8 on Allure, regular dining w/ 50 people on Oasis, so my experience would be different. We did not make reservations for MTD because we booked a little last minute so the only available options were very early or very late. By night 3 we found a great staff that we really liked and they were able to get us a standing reservation each night after for 8pm. If you want just the 3 of you each night, try to make reservations ahead if you can. If your schedule changes you can always try to adjust it on the ship or just wait a little bit.
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#11
Indiana
3,526 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
We were on Oasis in January in a CP balcony. It was our first time to sail on any Oasis class ship as we just knew we wouldn't like them. One of my favorite parts of cruising is feeling an ocean connection and I did miss that. Oasis is beautiful and there is a lot to do but I felt like we were in a luxury hotel, not a cruise. I think if we go again, we will definitely get an oceanview balcony.

There is an area with a few chairs on the jogging track deck aft. This is a good place to ocean watch but not necessarily quiet with people pounding the track behind you. I liked walking on the jogging track but the forward part is completely enclosed which made it seem a little claustrophobic. The track does go all the way around and there are signs for mileage amounts.

The Solarium is beautiful and a great place to relax. Lovely ocean views there!

Sherri
#12
snellville, georgia
550 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I know this is the Royal board. If you want to be close to the ocean, you might want to check out the Carnival ships like Magic, Breeze, Dream, or Vista that have cove balconies which are two decks above the ocean. The life boats shade the balcony.
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#13
PA
3,229 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
OP i, too, am used to the NCL ways. you need to find out more about dining here. i found out that royal doesnt let you sit any of the 4 MDRs. it's based on if you are MTD or traditional and there are some other rules even then. when you buy a SDP pack they initially tell you where to eat and when but you have to change the reservations on the ship then.

when i remember some NCL differences ill post here. oh at least on anthem you dont get your room key until you get to your room. you get a seapass that is good until you get there.

one cool thing is their tours take you to the bridge!
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#14
14,858 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by luckyinpa
OP i, too, am used to the NCL ways. you need to find out more about dining here. i found out that royal doesnt let you sit any of the 4 MDRs. it's based on if you are MTD or traditional and there are some other rules even then. when you buy a SDP pack they initially tell you where to eat and when but you have to change the reservations on the ship then.

when i remember some NCL differences ill post here. oh at least on anthem you dont get your room key until you get to your room. you get a seapass that is good until you get there.

one cool thing is their tours take you to the bridge!
The OP is asking about Oasis, not Anthem. Oasis does not have the same dining room design as Anthem. What is an SDP pack? Never seen that abbreviation used on these boards.

As far as your room key comment and Anthem, your room key is your sea pass. On Anthem, your sea pass will be outside your cabin. On Anthem, you board using your set sail pass. On Oasis, you get your sea pass card at check in.
#15
No VA
15,729 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by reallyitsmema
. What is an SDP pack? Never seen that abbreviation used on these boards..
I assume that is a Specialty Dining Package.
#16
Long Island
230 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by sjb317
We were on Oasis in January in a CP balcony. It was our first time to sail on any Oasis class ship as we just knew we wouldn't like them. One of my favorite parts of cruising is feeling an ocean connection and I did miss that. Oasis is beautiful and there is a lot to do but I felt like we were in a luxury hotel, not a cruise. I think if we go again, we will definitely get an oceanview balcony.


Sherri
Thanks for this Sherri. Atleast I know it is, somewhat, of a valid concern, but glad to hear you'd be willing to give her another go with an ocean view balcony.

Judy- I will definitely be checking our your review. The pictures you sent & cabin info are perfect. Thank you!

Does the Solarium get very crowded? Are you able to get seats, or is it like the pool where people get up at the @ss crack of dawn to "reserve" seats? It looks huge, so it makes me think even if there were a lot of people you wouldn't feel the crowd so much. Isn't there a buffet or snack bar or something there as well? Is that included or extra fee. BIker mentioned that only the MDR was included and all other restaurants were fee (unless I misunderstood).

Thank you everyone for all the info! We definitely have a lot to consider here and some big decisions to make. It is somewhat of a special trip so we are willing to splurge a bit given the right itinerary and ship. We thought this had both but as I did more research, that's when I started to notice everything seemed so enclosed. She still looks amazing and I'm sure we'd still have a great time!
#17
Connecticut
5,060 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We were on the Oasis last June, and we LOVED it.
With that being said, we DID feel a disconnect from the ocean, unless we were on our balcony.
The ship is just so massive, you can't see the ocean from many spots, unless up on the upper decks or in the Solarium, which is enclosed, so it's kind of different.

We had 6666, which was on the hump. Yes, we did have a lifeboat under us, but it didn't make or break the balcony. We normally just sit out there and look out, not down, so not a biggie for us.

YTD dining, while you can go anytime you want, still expect a wait.

Would go on Oasis again in a heartbeat, but we are going back to Carnival (Magic) this year.

Enjoy your cruise!!! You will LOVE the ship!!!
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#18
No VA
15,729 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by djny1077
Isn't there a buffet or snack bar or something there as well? Is that included or extra fee. BIker mentioned that only the MDR was included and all other restaurants were fee (unless I misunderstood).
There are a number of venues where you can get food fee (like Windjammer buffet and others) but they are not "restaurants".
#19
Cincinnati, OH
1,564 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
In addition to the Windjammer buffet, you can get free food at Sorrentos (pizza) and Café Promenade (snacks and finger sandwiches) on the Royal Promenade, the Boardwalk Dog House (hot dogs and sausages) on the Boardwalk, and Park Café (salads and roast beef sandwiches) in Central Park. I may be missing other areas.
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#20
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3,765 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by djny1077
Does the Solarium get very crowded? Are you able to get seats, or is it like the pool where people get up at the @ss crack of dawn to "reserve" seats? It looks huge, so it makes me think even if there were a lot of people you wouldn't feel the crowd so much. Isn't there a buffet or snack bar or something there as well? Is that included or extra fee. BIker mentioned that only the MDR was included and all other restaurants were fee (unless I misunderstood).
The Solarium is an excellent spot and where I'd imagine you would be spending a lot of time based on your desire to view the ocean and relax. You are surrounded by the ocean in the Solarium. There is drinks, food, etc. Outstanding spot. I enjoy it a lot as well. Does it get crowded? Yeah, a bit on ocean days, but it's a low key spot and the people are low key there. Fairly quiet, relaxed. Getting a prime spot might be a little challenging but we never once had trouble finding a lounge chair to relax in and enjoy drinks.

Oasis has a wading pool that you may enjoy. It's not the crazy deck pool, people chill and have drinks. Take a look at this picture and tell me you feel detached from the ocean!